Keeping or training of animals for exhibition

The keeping or training of animals used in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes.

Guidance notes for Animals for Exhibition

Application form - Animals for Exhibition

As of 1 October 2018, a licence is required for the following activity:

Keeping or training animals for exhibition in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes -

a) to any audience attending in person, or

b) by the recording of visual images of them by any form of technology that enables the display of such images.

Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are subject to licensing

  1. Businesses which keep animals for exhibition, either for entertainment or educational purposes. This includes mobile animal exhibits that visit schools, weddings, private parties, fairs and other events where an audience is present.
  2. Pony parties where the ponies are not ridden.
  3. Businesses which keep animals for exhibition via electronic media, for example, animals used in films or TV.
  4. Businesses which train animals for exhibition, either to an audience or via electronic media.
  5. Exhibiting domestic animals in a circus.
  6. Any business based outside of England that brings in an animal for exhibition. These businesses must apply to the first authority in which they will be performing or where the animals are to be kept for the duration of their stay.

Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are not subject to licensing

  1. Agents who organise for the exhibition of animals, but do not own them or train them themselves and thus have limited or no contact with the animals. Agents who arrange for the supply of animals for an exhibit should ensure all keepers and trainers are licensed and comply with the Regulations.
  2. Animal shows where animals are exhibited (e.g. Crufts, animal trade shows). If individual participants are in the business of exhibiting animals and receive a fee for doing so, they will need to have a licence, but the show itself does not require a licence as it is not responsible for the animals exhibited.
  3. Training or exhibiting animals for military or police purposes (i.e. training police dogs, demonstrations of police/military dogs at fairs).
  4. Registered charities that exhibit animals as part of their charitable work, unless such registered charities are in practice running this element of their operations as a commercial activity.
  5. Training or exhibiting animals for sporting purposes, for example, horse racing and greyhound racing.
  6. Exhibiting wild animals within a licensed circus.
  7. Licensed zoos.

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    Basingstoke
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    Fridays
    8.30am to 4.30pm
Give us feedback